bonar crump

bonar crump
husband - father - reader - runner - picker - grinner - lover - sinner

Monday, August 6, 2012


When someone turns their back on you, it hurts. When you can tell that someone is talking about you to someone else in the room with the whispered warning of, “don’t look now, but guess who just showed up,” it pushes down on you like a ridiculously heavy backpack. When your very best efforts to please someone result in a dismissive lack of affirmation, it creates distance, anger, and resentment.

When a person is ugly or dirty or smelly or boisterous or crass or impatient or flamboyant we all treat them differently. We turn our back to them without realizing we’ve hurt them. We warn others in our group to be aware of “that person over there” without intent of malice. We dismissively nod thanks to them with a fake smile and hurried eyes if they engage us while unknowingly reaffirming a multitude of rejection stereotypes.

The “Homeless”—I don’t even know what that means anymore. I get that we’re talking about people that don’t have a home. We’re talking about individuals and families that lack the resources necessary to procure sustainable shelter. What I mean when I say that I don’t know what “homeless” means is that I need a definitive explanation of the word HOME.

I’m too philosophically driven to only accept HOME as the place where a person, family, or household lives. That’s the easy definition, but what about HOME as a safe place? A place where a person can find refuge and safety or live in security? What about a HOME office or HOME field advantage? What about a criticism that hits HOME or driving the nail HOME? What if I’m HOME free or happy to be HOME for the holidays?

Certainly, there are connotations of where someone dwells within each of these depictions, but it has to be about more than where someone physically resides. It has to do with one’s origins—less about geography and more about a sense of belonging.

HOME is more about where the heart lives and what the heart connects to than it is about where we keep our stuff.

If that’s true then I think more of us are “homeless” than we realize. I’ve known wealthy CEO’s and pillars of the community that were as homeless as any vagrant living under a bridge. I know families living in 6,000 sq. ft. houses just as homeless as the dirtiest bag lady on the street. Politicians, Clergy, Writers, Doctors, Educators, Sculptors, Executives, and Judges—all as homeless as anyone could ever be because their hearts don’t have a HOME.

When a heart doesn’t have a HOME (a place of safety and nurturing) it develops a sense of entitlement, self-importance, paranoia, and ultimately the mechanism of rejecting others before being rejected.

A heart needs a place to rest comfortably from time to time. A heart needs food and shelter. A heart needs to be fed compassion and trust and loyalty and love and respect in order to remain healthy. A healthy heart needs time to heal and time to rest and time to experience peace.

But that’s not all a heart needs!

A heart also needs exercise through acts of service to others. It needs work and responsibility and needs to be stretched. A healthy heart needs to perform. It needs cycles of rest and work, peace and stress, acceptance both received and given. A healthy heart HAS TO be used or else it decays. And once it has decayed for long enough it becomes a hardened lump of atrophied muscle capable of one thing only—self-preservation.

You’ve seen the street homeless with their dirty clothes, constant walking, bags upon bags of “stuff”, and distant stares shuffling down the street. They are in self-preservation mode. Their defenses acutely devised to keep you and everyone else away. Their trust has died. Their fears have overtaken them. They’ve had backs turned on them for so long that they wonder if they themselves actually exist. Their flamboyant behavior is a warning sign to stay away.

From a broken, lonely, depraved place where a healthy heart struggles to exist we all defend against the sadness, loneliness, and hopelessness we’ve suffered in our lives.

We are all homeless.
We are all dysfunctional.
We are all broken.
We are all HOMELESS.

Beware false promises of a HOME for your heart. Physical beauty, possessions, power, influence, control, and stature may be how we errantly label one’s identity, but none of these things provide a HOME for the heart. And once you find that true home for your heart, DO NOT abandon it for promises of something bigger and better. The most honorable, healing, peaceful, loving places a heart can call home are also, more often than not, the simplest places, things, and people in our lives.

Find a home for your heart and then go about the business of finding homes for other people’s hearts. Because if you are interested in fighting poverty, abuse, hunger, and hatred you need to understand that these are malignant tumors on society brought about by a culture of homeless hearts searching for significance through the exploitation of others.

The worst part about a heart without a home is NOT that it dies. The worst part is that it WANTS TO DIE but cannot. The worst part is that when it cannot die it feeds on others. The homeless heart, left unchecked, can destroy and consume and devastate anything in its path. It’s like a tornado—a resulting force of nature without any positive reason for existence. And often, just like that tornado, the chronically homeless heart is arbitrary about who or what it affects.

Here’s the magnificent part—when you are about the business of feeding compassion and trust and loyalty and love and respect to the hearts of others, your own heart is satisfied. It’s circular. It’s rhythmic. It’s organic. It’s what we call communal living and there is no individual achievement that can take its place.

A healthy home for a heart is NOT an efficiency apartment. It is a high school gymnasium filled with cots. Don’t buy into the idea of self-sufficiency. If you do, you might find a place for your stuff, but you will not find a place for your heart.

Think big and give big.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Christian cultural warfare

Let me be clear about something for a moment. No more nuance. No more metaphor. No more poetic adaptations of spiritual revelations. Just straight up honesty…right…wrong…or otherwise. Pure individual opinion and preference.

Today’s brand of western Christianity sucks ass!

If you’ve been brainwashed with the message of fanaticism that HATES Obama or HATES gays or HATES immigrants (legal or illegal) or HATES anything then you need to stay the fuck away from me. I’m trying my best to be a godly man.

I want to be loving. I want to be joyful. I want to be peaceful. I want to be patient. I want to be kind. I want to experience all the “fruit” (or byproducts) of a life lived according to the Holy Spirit of our God, but you assholes keep pissing me off.

I want to be non-violent, but every time I hear a “Christian” spouting hate, disrespect, and malicious slander I want to kick them to sleep. I want to be gentle, but every time I hear a “Christian” reciting their pastor’s particular flavor of scriptural interpretation which clearly runs cross-grain to the life of a peaceful loving Christ I want to bash their teeth in with a Maglite. I want to be respectful, but every time I hear a “Christian” speak with authority about politics, spirituality, and sexuality that they have NO personal experience with I have to fight back the urge to fold their knee backward with a well-placed heel kick. I want to be humble, but it’s hard not to think everyone around me is a complete dumbass when it seems clear that all the noise of the culture war around us is obviously drowning out human suffering in every corner of our world. I don’t want to let these things get to me. I don’t want to be angry. I don’t want to rant. I want peace.

But today’s most visual and vocal brand of a provocative Christianity is THE biggest stumbling block for me. I’m guessing it’s quite the stumbling block for others as well. Either that or I’m the only one out here psychotic enough to be affected by these lunatics. Yes, I can call them lunatics because I was once one of them. I taught the same garbage. I worshipped the same idols of religion, politics, doctrine, and selfish interpretation of scripture. I was fully dialed in to the frequency of status quo mainstream Christianity. But then God saved me.

I’m certain that the greatest salvation I’ve ever experienced in my life has been a salvation from what I thought Christianity was. I know now that Jesus died on that cross for me that day not to save me from my sins, but to save me from my religion. He sacrificed flesh, bone, blood, dignity, and life so that someday Bonar Crump would be saved from the hell of 21st century western Christianity.

Obviously, everything in me isn’t fixed if I truly have these tendencies of violence toward jackass 21st century Christians, but I’m really really trying and praying and seeking and working on it. This is why I keep ALL forms of organized Christian religion at arm’s length. This is why I try to debrief my daughter each time we attend church. This is why I confer and seek council from my wife anytime the noise of Christian cultural warfare begins to drown out my sense of peacefulness and joy. This is why I write this stuff as I attempt to release it from my brain via verbal processing. I have to verbally vomit into my laptop from time to time just to keep the noise level in my head to a dull roar.

Is it any wonder that I cling so tightly to the biker subculture that I embrace? See, there is peace in being a part of a subculture that the jackass “Christians” don’t want any part of. Don’t get me wrong…there are plenty of Christ followers among the ranks of us bikers, but the really nasty “Christians” stay very far away from us. As a matter of fact, they lock the doors to their cars when we pull up next to them at intersections. That suits me just fine.

The curious thing to me is that there is a lot of the same kind of hate speech within the biker community, but it doesn’t bother me nearly as much. You’ll find a fair amount of bigotry, misogyny, and political fanaticism at any of our large biker meetings, but these are mostly folks exercising their freedom of belief, speech, and lifestyle guaranteed by our Constitution. What appears to me to be intolerance and anger is based on their own authority. It’s their opinion and right to have and express whatever they like. I get it. But it’s different for me when I hear someone reflecting the same exact intolerances while wearing a shirt that says, “Jesus said so.”

You know what! If you’re wearing that shirt today I have one very important thing to say to you: go fuck yourself. That and stay the fuck away from me. I respect your right to your freedoms of speech, action, and lifestyle, but NOT if you’re going to cover it all with a self-serving coat of Christian paint, thereby, presenting the message to the world that you are merely following the directives of your God. You are not! You are following the guidance of your idols. You just don’t know it yet.

I’ve been told that I am actually a very nice person. I don’t know if that’s true or not, but I do know that it’s a lot easier for me to be nice when I’m not surrounded by mainstream Christians. Wondering why church attendance all over the western world continues to drop off at an amazing rate? It’s because no one wants to hang out with assholes. It’s really not all that complicated. Figure it out!